Writing Project

Usually over the Summer, I go out of my way to read as many books as possible. That’s not going to change this summer, but I am going to make more of an effort to improve my writing, by trying to write every day. Posts won’t always be stories, but there will be bits and pieces of dialogue that I would love to get feedback on. Today, I’m going to post an example of what I mean.


“You know, my mother makes the best spaghetti anyone’ll ever eat. Always cooked perfectly, you know? Like, the sauce: always fresh, everything, too. The garlic, tomatoes crushed by hand, basil from the garden, you know? You know what the secret to a good sauce is?” asks Jay.


“Good olive oil.”

“How could you possibly think about food at a time like this? It’s a miracle I haven’t thrown up yet,” says Tommy.

“If you use shit oil, you get shit results. Same thing goes with wine. You cook with only what you drink.”

“That’s great, Jay. Fan-fuckin’-tastic, Jay. Why are you telling us this?” asks Tommy.

“When I get nervous, I think of something I love, you know?”

“We’re surrounded by shit. Literally, shit,” says Andy, butting in. “Does shit remind you of your mother’s cooking or something?”

“Fuck off.”

Smells of raw sewage penetrate their nostrils as they cautiously advance through the darkness, guided only by their rifle-mounted flashlights.

“Check your corners,” whispers Franklin, the point man.

“No shit, Franky,” mumbles Jay, sarcastically.

“Fuck up, Jay,” says Tommy, who’s following behind Andy.

“You dipshits are gonna get us killed!” yells Andy, momentarily forgetting about the importance of silence.

“Enough,” says Franklin, obviously pissed. “Keep moving.”

The team presses forward, in silence, eager to find their target. It’s important they don’t fuck up because they won’t get another chance.

“You see how pissed Franky got, Andy?”

“Enough, Jay,” whispers Andy. “Now’s not the time.”

“Why not?”

“You were quiet all day back at base. Why now, must you fuck around?”

Jay likes to get on people’s nerves, just to see how they’ll react. Always testing his boundaries, looking for the one chink in the armor. Everyone knows this, but Jay’s had a lot of practice. They all expect Jay to say something stupid, but he always manages to catch you off guard with something ridiculous, and he makes sure you’re really pissed off before he stops, like, to the point where you’re ready to smash his face in with the butt of your rifle. Luckily for him, he knows when to quit.

“Shut up; all of you,” whispers Franklin while holding up his hand to stop movement. “We’re here. Andy, plant the charges; Tommy, cover me.”


Are you curious to find out what happens next?

Which character are you most intrigued about?

Does Jay seem over the top?

What works and what doesn’t?

What would you do differently, if anything?

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Paul Phipps says:

    Good idea – hope you manage the every day thing. I liked the contrast of the first line with the location of where they are. It’s a nice surprise.

    My only comment would be on the penultimate paragraph: ‘Jay likes to get on peoples’ nerves…’ – This whole paragraph can probably come out in dialogue with other people – show us what Jay’s like, rather than tell us.

    Nice post.


    1. Thanks for the reply!

      I definitely see what you’re saying. That always seems to be my problem with dialogue. It’s one of the things my professors stress the most when it comes to writing. Hopefully as time goes on, it’ll get better.


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